Statistics: Remote Work & Industry Employment Trends in Canada

Statistics: Remote Work & Industry Employment Trends in Canada

The numbers behind the stories. We have provided a recap to some of Statistics Canada's labour force survey results on both remote work as well as industry employment in September 2020.

As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic both on the employer and employee level, we have seen a shift in how companies operate. We have seen a number of workers move to working remotely in order to remain productive. With Shopify’s big announcement of vacating their headquarters in Ottawa, ON as they converted to a remote workforce, it became evident that remote work was here to stay. We’ve been keeping an eye on current trends in Canada to get a better understanding of trends in how the workforce is operating.

Slight Decline in Canadians Working From Home

In many instances, whether businesses and employees liked it or not, they have had to adapt to a remote or partially remote situation. As of September 2020, the number of employees working from home in Canada is now 25.6%; this number is down from 26.4% in August 2020. We will continue to monitor this statistic to see if the trend continues to lean back down. However, we may see a rise again given the new COVID-19 protocols announced for Ottawa and Toronto, ON.

Canadians working from home now totals 4.2 million which is more than two times the amount of people that usually do at 1.9 million.

Productivity of working from home vs. outside the home?

Employees have had to figure out how to balance their personal and family lives with work whether it be working from home or outside of their homes. In September 2020, the average worker working from home worked 37.6 hours/week compared to 35.6 hours/week for those who worked outside of the home. Employees who worked from home also worked a larger amount of unpaid overtime house at 1.6 compared to those working outside the home at 0.7 hours.

There are different views on how to read these stats, one view could see it as people are working harder when they are at home, while another may take the angle that workers outside of their homes are more efficient in completing their work.

Industry Employment Trends

Industry employment changes in September 2020 compared to Pre-COVID-19 February 2020

This chart created by Statistics Canada tells a the story of where there have been industries that have been hit hardest by the pandemic and those that have seen growth in employment during the pandemic.

Employment in Ontario in September 2020

Ontario saw its largest employment gains in accommodations and food services, manufacturing, and educational services in September 2020 to help increase the overall employment by 2.4% (168,000) in the month. Gains for Ontario have now increased to 670,000 over the last three months which has brought the unemployment rate down 1.1% to a 9.5% total (four months with a consecutive decline).

Source: Statistics Canada

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